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Coalition forces confirm death of 5th militant leader

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Death brings leader death toll to 5
  • NATO forces have been targeting the Haqqani Network
  • Several additional fighters also killed

(CNN) -- NATO forces killed a senior militant leader of a Taliban-linked group during a weekend operation in eastern Afghanistan, a military statement said Thursday.

"Haqqani network senior leader, Hibati, was killed during an overnight operation in Paktiya province Saturday," NATO said.

The death brings the total number of Haqqani network leaders killed to five. The network is part of the Afghan Taliban.

The operation in a remote compound in Dzadran district was based on intelligence tips.

"Intelligence reports later confirmed the death of the five Haqqani leaders as well as several additional Haqqani fighters," the statement said. "It is assessed the security force had broken up a Haqqani leadership meeting."

The operation is part of a series of attacks on militants in the nation by U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus.

During a two-week period in early October, coalition forces battled groups of fighters from the Haqqani network crossing into Afghanistan from Pakistan.The groups were attempting to attack coalition and Afghan bases in the border region.

More than 120 Haqqani fighters were killed.

CNN's Barbara Starr contributed to this report